Nissan has announced the halt of European production for its Leaf model as the company gears up for the release of its successor anticipated in 2025. The Leaf, hailed as one of the earliest commercially available battery-electric vehicles globally, faces dwindling sales on the continent amidst fierce competition from newer rivals boasting enhanced range and superior technology.

Manufactured at Nissan's Sunderland plant in England, the Leaf's production for the European market has been a cornerstone of the company's operations since 2013, following its global debut in 2010. The current iteration of the model, introduced in 2017, succeeded the first-generation Leaf.

“The current generation of Nissan Leaf, the world’s first mass-market 100 per cent electric vehicle, is approaching the end of its life cycle in Europe,” a Nissan spokesperson confirmed to Autocar. "Depending on the market’s inventory, European customers will be able to place their orders until vehicle stocks run out. Nissan has already announced a new line-up of 100 per cent electric vehicles for the European market to be produced in Sunderland plant as part of our commitment to sustainability and electrification.”

Data from market analyst Dataforce, cited by Automotive News, reveals a significant decline in European sales, with Nissan recording 17,907 Leaf sales last year, marking a 39 per cent decrease from the previous year's figures. The decision to cease European production signifies a strategic move by the Japanese company, with plans to redirect manufacturing efforts towards the development of a new version of the EV, slated to adopt an SUV body style. The company is investing a substantial sum of £423 million to revamp the Sunderland facility, aiming to ramp up production to 100,000 units annually.

Gallery: 2023 Nissan Leaf

However, amidst the anticipation of the firm’s next-generation EV, concerns arise for owners of older models in the UK. The BBC reports that the recent removal of app support for pre-2016 Leaf and e-NV200 vehicles has left approximately 3,000 users with no access to the mobile application. Nissan attributes this decision to the impending shutdown of the country's 2G network, which renders the vehicles' outdated control units incompatible with the app.

Although the UK government has outlined a deadline of 2033 for operators to phase out 2G networks, no operator has initiated this transition thus far, though. The app, cherished by owners for its ability to facilitate remote access to features like cost-effective charging, is now rendered obsolete.